Private Capital Meets Microelectronics: Qiming VC Leads Yunyinggu’s Series C
COVID-19 and China
A photo of the circuit board. Image credit: TimSon Foox/Pexels

Yunyinggu (云英谷) has attracted quite a few industry leaders for its second VC round in the last two years, grabbing an undisclosed amount of cash. Once again.

The lead investor – Qiming Venture Partners – was not the only big name in the fresh investment event undertaken by the Shenzhen-based display technology company. Qualcomm Ventures, the VC arm of American semiconductor giant Qualcomm (QCOM:NASDAQ), also joined the party that took place on September 30.

Besides, this round of financing saw participation from Chinese firm Northern Light Venture Capital, three-year-old asset management firm Hongtai Fund (鸿泰基金) and state-owned entity Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC).

Founded in 2012, Yunyinggu Technology develops display driver chips and integrated circuits (IC). The company’s product mix includes timing control chips, AMOLED driver chips, silicon-based OLED, FHD TV TCON driver cards as well as FPGA image processing cards. Holding a number of international patents, it provides complete solutions for consumer electronics companies and other businesses.

It is of importance that each of the organizations mentioned above, except for AVIC, has already poured some capital into the company in January 2018. While the chipmaker’s funding history looks consistent, one important detail of this new round should be emphasized: global electronics corporation Xiaomi (1810:HK), which took part in the last year’s funding event, has decided not to throw money at the firm this time.

All things equal, this fact might be thought of as a bellwether of how Yunyinggu is doing recently: Xiaomi, obviously, has an extensive list of suppliers in every vertical, and this shift is just a minor change in its immense ecosystem. However, it could mean one of two things: the giant has either found a better partner in this particular segment or left the vertical (due to some economic reasons or a technological upgrade).

According to investment portal ITjuzi, there are nearly 20 Chinese early- and late-stage (Series A-D) startups that produce display driver ICs. Only six of them have reportedly raised more than CNY 100 million (USD 14 million) in venture financing to date.

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